2009 Website Design Finalists Increase Brand Awareness
The finalists in the Best New Small Business Website Summer 2009 contest were looking for increased revenue and brand awareness from their new website. They share their insights in real-life case studies that demonstrate how a website can contribute to success -- online and off -- for every type of small business.
Many small businesses that don't have a website wonder why they need one. Some are local "brick and mortar" establishments that don't have plans to sell online. Others are service providers whose customers typically come from the phone book, or from walk-in business (restaurants are a good example). Still others may be successful startups that are so busy with word-of-mouth customers that they haven't gotten around to building a website yet.
Regardless of the reason, a website should be high on the priority list for any small business that wants to increase revenue and brand awareness. One reason is that word-of-mouth tends to be erratic, and even seasonal depending on the products or services offered. Thus, referrals and walk-ins should not be the only source of new customers.
Another reason to have a website is that, these days, many customers don't take a business seriously unless it has a website. More and more people are using search engines to replace phone books. Even if a business appears in search results, the businesses with websites may be more enticing to searchers because they can uncover more information before calling or visiting the business in person.
A website can also improve productivity for your staff by providing the answer to frequently asked questions online, instead of having staff members answer the same question via the phone or email.
For more insight from small business owners with new websites, visit the Case Study Corner.